Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
The Rev. Donte Hickman, pastor of Southern Baptist Church in East Baltimore sent out the call for all his men to meet him and other pastors at New Shiloh Baptist Church to talk down the folks who rioted and burned in Baltimore, April 27. Two hours later, it was reported that a huge fire raged on the site of a building that belonged to Southern Baptist Church and was purposed to be their new senior citizen center.
In spite of attempts of the local fire department, the building was completely destroyed. The Fire Department initially would not connect the fire to the early afternoon’s activities considering it’s on the opposite side of the city. But later in the evening the AP confirmed that the fire was indeed initiated by the rioters.
Prayers came in as soon as the news became public.
The city had been besieged since early afternoon, on the same day of the funeral for Freddie Gray, 25, who died while in police custody.
The actions of an increasing number of groups caused Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake to request Gov. Hogan to declare a state of emergency.